Cycling Guide: Dover - Walmer - Deal Castles
From the medieval 'Key to England' at Dover, to Henry VIII's Tudor defences at Walmer and Deal, by bike you can take in three castles along the Kent coast and panoramic views of the English Channel all in one day.
This suggested route features an initial climb on the way out of Dover, following which you can enjoy the sea breeze as you cycle downhill along roads and a pleasant cycle route toward Walmer and Deal. Keep the sea on your right and you can't go too wrong.
Please check the individual site pages below for the latest information regarding facilities and opening hours.
- DISTANCE – Approximately 10 miles (16 km) one way, or 20 miles (32 km) with a return trip.
- TIME – Approximately an hour and a half one way, or up to three hours with a return trip.
- TERRAIN – Some natural trails but mostly paved roads and national cycle routes, with coastal views along much of the way.
- DIFFICULTY – Intermediate/Enthusiast. The initial uphill climb out of Dover is steep and road-based, meaning good fitness and road cycling experience is recommended. Otherwise, this is a relatively simple downhill route (when travelling north from Dover to Deal).
- See a map of the sites | View the route on Google Maps | View the route on Komoot
EXPLORE DOVER CASTLE
High atop the iconic White Cliffs of Dover sits the most iconic of all English fortresses. From the mighty medieval keep to the labyrinth of secret wartime tunnels below, a family day out at Dover towers above all others.
EXPLORE WALMER CASTLE AND GARDENS
Built during the reign of King Henry VIII and perched on the picturesque Kent coastline, Walmer Castle is one of the most fascinating visitor attractions in the South East.
EXPLORE DEAL CASTLE
For a fascinating day out on the Kent coast then look no further than Deal Castle. Built by the order of King Henry VIII it is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England.
This route starts at the medieval fort of Dover Castle: the mighty 'Key to England'. There is lots to see and do at Dover, so consider visiting early in the day to allow plenty of time.
0.1 MILES | 0.2 KMTURN RIGHT ON TO CASTLE HILL ROAD
Leave Dover Castle via the Canons Gate Road visitor entrance/exit and turn right on to Castle Hill Road. Continue uphill until the road evens out and you see brown signs for the White Cliffs.
0.4 MILES | 0.6 KMTURN RIGHT ON TO UPPER ROAD
This turning offers great views of Dover Castle from a distance. Upper Road is a long, steep uphill climb though, so good fitness will be required for this section. Continue up the hill until you reach signs for the National Trust 'White Cliffs of Dover' car park.
1.2 MILES | 1.9 KMENTER CAR PARK, TAKE LEFT FORK IN ROAD
Enter the car park and keep to the left as the road forks (following signs for coach parking) which will take you on to a marked cycle way. If you find yourself in need of a pause after the uphill section, there are benches here that offer views out over Dover harbour.
1.4 MILES | 2.3 KMFOLLOW CYCLEWAY
Follow the winding cycleway uphill until the path flattens out. You’ll need to dismount for the style when you reach it. Once passed, follow the path ahead as it bends round to the left and – when it brings you back to the road – veer left and carry on to the t-junction ahead.
2.2 MILES | 3.5 KMTURN RIGHT ON TO UPPER ROAD
At the T-junction, follow the blue cycling sign pointing right for Deal. Follow this long, relatively straight road for about 2 miles / 10 minutes as it takes you toward St Margarette at Cliff. Upper Road becomes Reach Road as you enter the town, but continue until you reach the T-junction with the High Street.
4.2 MILES | 6.8 KMTURN RIGHT ON TO SEA STREET
Turn right on to Sea Street and follow the road for 0.3 miles, first downhill then uphill.
4.6 MILES | 7.4 KMTURN LEFT ON TO GRANVILLE ROAD
As you approach the traffic island, veer left to turn on to Granville Road and continue for around 2.5 miles (taking approximately 15-20 minutes). On the way you’ll pass the Dover Patrol memorial (pictured) as the route turns in to a cliff-top pathway with views out over the English Channel.
7.1 MILES | 11.4 KMCONTINUE ON TO UNDERCLIFFE ROAD
7.7 MILES | 12.4 KMTURN RIGHT ON TO BOUNDARY ROAD
Turn right on to Boundary Road. This will take you back to the seafront and Wellington Parade (pictured), a long cycleway route running the length of Walmer Beach. Follow for about a mile.
8.6 MILES | 13.8 KMTURN OFF LEFT TO VISIT WALMER CASTLE AND GARDENS
As Walmer Castle and Gardens – the coastal fortress built by Henry VIII – starts to appear on your left, continue on a little before veering left to take the path leading to the small car park ahead. A short pathway takes you through the trees to the road, where you can cross to the walled entrance directly opposite.
DESTINATIONWALMER CASTLE AND GARDENS
You've arrived! Explore over eight acres of award-winning gardens, situated in the grounds of this picturesque coastal castle with a fascinating history.
8.7 MILES | 14 KMHEAD BACK TO THE BEACHFRONT CYCLEWAY
On leaving Walmer Castle and Gardens, cross the road and rejoin the beachfront cycleway. Turn left and cycle for 1.2 miles (taking approximately 6 minutes), following the right then left kink to stay on the cycleway.
9.8 MILES | 15.8 KMTURN OFF LEFT TO VISIT DEAL CASTLE
As Deal Castle begins to appear on your right, turn off left on to Marine Road and follow the road around the corner. Enter the site via the car park immediately to your right.
You’ve arrived! Built by the order of King Henry VIII, Deal Castle is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England. Explore the castle from the storerooms and tunnels below up to the circular rooms above.
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